The Roan Mountain Visitors’ Bureau is pleased to announce the publication of this year’s “Tennessee’s Outdoor Playground” visitor guide. Made possible by a Mountain Electric Cooperative S.E.E.D. grant, a revised version of our brochure will once again be distributed to over 28,000 households in the Mountain Electric service area, presenting the greater Roan Mountain region as a delightful addition to any visit to the North Carolina High Country, effectively rounding out the overall mountain experience. “We got a terrific response to our initial launch last year”, said Mike Hill, the project coordinator and publication designer. Revisions to this year’s publication more clearly define the broad scope of recreational opportunities found in the areas of Carter County that touch the North Carolina border, including Carver’s Gap (voted most scenic section of the entire Appalachian Trail in a Trek magazine exit poll), The Roan Mountain State Park, and Watauga Lake, plus golfing and hiking opportunities found just across the state line in Newland. “By including these areas that are contiguous to Roan Mountain, we not only become even more appealing for a “daycation” or longer excursion, but we also highlight amenities in all of the areas serviced by Mountain Electric in Carter County, which is one of the criteria of the grant”, according to Hill.
New this year, the project has been underwritten by the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership (NeTREP), a 501c3 foundation that promotes regionalism and visitorship for a consortium of Northeast Tennessee counties including Carter. This year’s campaign will include a spring and fall version of the directory. The release timing of last year’s publication coincided with the overall loosening of COVID lockdown restrictions in Tennessee, and resulted in an uptick of visitors from the NC area where restrictions were decidedly tighter at the time. “Many small businesses in the area have expressed their belief that the influx of North Carolina customers was a major factor that helped them weather the Covid crisis last year’’, Hill said, “…and we are super-excited about the potential impact from releasing a spring and fall edition this year as vaccination rates improve and more people are able to get out and explore”.